Open up your eyes.
Sometimes our eyes are open but we can’t see. Until Jesus opens our eyes. And then God calls us to share what we can see with those who can’t yet see.
Open up your eyes and skip the drama.
Sometimes we will be persecuted for doing so and encounter a lot of drama. Try not to focus on the drama. Keep your eye on the prize.
Open up your eyes and remove the blind spots.
We too can have blind spots that keep us from seeing God’s truth as we are focused on the world’s version of truth. Being blind or myopic can keep us from Kingdom purposes. What matters most is being faithful to God and being about His purposes. Being faithful with the little things helps us to see clearly. And we have to be faithful with a little before we can be faithful with a lot.
I feel a bit like Popeye the Sailorman today (dating myself). Feel like closing one eye because I think I must have slept with one eye open last night.
I have Sjogren’s Syndrome and that means really dry eyes, among other symptoms, but sometimes my eyes just hurt.
It makes me think of our eyes, in general. Sometimes people have eyes but they just can’t see. That is all of us, of course, until Jesus opens our eyes.
And Jesus is trying to do that through parables and stories in the book of Luke today.
Are your eyes open today, friends?
Truly open? Open to God’s truth, and not the world’s version of truth?
Starting at the beginning of Luke 15, the Pharisees and scribes were complaining to Jesus again.
“All the tax collectors and sinners were approaching to listen to him. 2 And the Pharisees and scribes were complaining, ‘This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.’ 3 So he told them this parable: 4 ‘What man among you, who has a hundred sheep and loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open field and go after the lost one until he finds it?'”
Opening your eyes to Jesus means the world will not agree with what we believe.
Jesus could not do anything right in their eyes. But I love how Jesus is willing to try and help them see. I think this is one of the hard things for us today, isn’t it?
People will disagree with us and try to find a fault with us. Not so different from the Pharisees.
And while one would likely try to avoid such persecution or judgment, I also don’t want to bow my knee to political correctness and get to the point where we cannot share anything because we are afraid of man’s opinion.
There is a fine line, friends.
You, see, just like in this parable of the lost sheep, what mattered most was not making sure we are popular or being politically correct. What mattered most was souls. And truth.
Open up our eyes to the souls around us.
I am not loving people if I know something is against God’s word but don’t share something on my own personal page because they might get mad. Ultimately, we will all answer to God. And Jesus promised us, being a believer would not mean peace and harmony for us as people are against God’s word in our culture and in open rebellion.
As it says in Luke 12:49-56 (NLT),
49 “I have come to set the world on fire, and I wish it were already burning! 50 I have a terrible baptism of suffering ahead of me, and I am under a heavy burden until it is accomplished. 51 Do you think I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I have come to divide people against each other! 52 From now on families will be split apart, three in favor of me, and two against—or two in favor and three against. 53 ‘Father will be divided against son and son against father; mother against daughter and daughter against mother; and mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.’”
Open up your eyes to spiritual realities around us.
This is pretty radical, huh? Sounds a bit revolutionary. But Jesus needed to wake people up to the spiritual realities all around them. Man tends to seek to be comfortable.
I know when I was first saved I thought accepting Jesus meant everyone would love me as I shared truth with them and life would be perfect.
Not so much.
The Bible says that we were all enemies of God. Enemies. So people are not going to rejoice when we share with them God’s word.
But that does not mean that we stop sharing.
Open our eyes to Kingdom principles.
Briefly summarizing some of the parables,
- The parable of the lost sheep reminds us of what matters most—lost people.
- And the parable of the lost coin reminds us of the importance of seeking God and His Kingdom above all else.
- The parable of the lost son – this parable gets me. It hurts when loved ones leave, doesn’t it? But the father’s heart toward his son is constant even despite the son’s sins. This parable reminds us to be patient and to keep our love on when one is wayward.
We get to see all of the perspectives in this story—from the perspective of the wayward son, and then the other son, who was bitter because of the grace his brother was given, and then the father, who set his love on his son. He did not enable such behavior, and the son had to come back to be in a right relationship with his dad. And, perhaps we see someone not mentioned in these verses – the attitude of the Pharisees as the Christians are under grace – the wayward sons brought in, and the Pharisees’ jealous eye wants to add laws for them to fulfill that Christ already fulfilled.
Open up our eyes to man’s need.
- What the parable of the dishonest manager reveals is interesting. Verse 8 summarizes it, and I will read a little further to include the verses of the day:
“The master praised the unrighteous manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the children of this age are more shrewd than the children of light in dealing with their own people. 9 And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of worldly wealth so that when it fails, they may welcome you into eternal dwellings. 10 Whoever is faithful in very little is also faithful in much, and whoever is unrighteous in very little is also unrighteous in much. 11 So if you have not been faithful with worldly wealth, who will trust you with what is genuine? 12 And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to someone else, who will give you what is your own? 13 No servant can serve two masters, since either he will hate one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
Friends, we need to be shrewd. We need to be wise as a serpent and innocent as a dove as we live out our faith in a raw and authentic manner.
How can we use what God has given us to win the hearts of man?
Open up our eyes to faithfulness.
Focusing in on the Scripture of the Day: Luke 16:10-11 (NLT)
10 “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities. 11 And if you are untrustworthy about worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven?”
- We have to be faithful with a little before we can be faithful with a lot.
- Little things matter. Pay attention to them.
- This means watching the words we say and being a person of integrity.
- What this doesn’t mean is trying to “keep up appearances”.
- When we make a mistake, life is not over. We just humble ourselves, repent and turn away from that behavior and move on.
Back at the end of v 13 it says, “we cannot serve both God and money.”
In v. 14-15 we see what the true stumbling block is for the Pharisees “14 The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, were listening to all these things and scoffing at him. 15 And he told them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the sight of others, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly admired by people is revolting in God’s sight.”
Friends, this is a hard truth that we must accept.
“What is highly admired by people is revolting in God’s sight.”
The world goes after things that are contrary to God’s law and materialism and money are chief among those things. Even the leaders in the church, the Pharisees, were trapped by it.
Open our eyes to the love of money.
The love of money is a cause of much evil (1 Timothy 6:10).
Our reading today ends with warnings from Jesus.
In Luke 17:1-4, “He said to his disciples, “Offenses will certainly come, but woe to the one through whom they come! 2 It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to stumble. 3 Be on your guard. If your brother sins,[b] rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. 4 And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and comes back to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.”
Sin happens. Offenses happen. But how we deal with them matters.
Back to the first principle shared today, being faithful in the little things matters.
We open our eyes by dealing with sin.
Be vigilant to deal with sin in your life.
We open our eyes by forgiving others and letting go of offenses.
Be diligent to forgive others and to seek to not offend others. And when people are offended, even if there is nothing we have done, if we will keep our love on and seek to humble ourselves so others might know Jesus, friends, this faithfulness is what our world needs. Caring more for the lost soul than being right or our pride.
We open our eyes by letting go of things of this world.
And finally, use what God has given you to serve people that some might come to believe in Jesus.
7-Fold One-Year Bible Reading Plan
Day #167:Luke 15-17
Scripture of the Day: Luke 16:10-11
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